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Quartermaster

A Quartermaster Pack Build

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Well, as most of you know (and some of you may not) I have been building TD packs for awhile now. I really enjoy it and it has been my pleasure to be able to build quite a few for some fantastic Sandies out there. I really take alot of pride in every order, knowing that you guys (and gals) have put your trust in me to deliver a high quality and screen accurate field pack.

With that said, I have been meaning to post a beginning to end build thread for quite some time. I get asked alot what goes into my packs. What makes them any better than the next.

Well, I don't know if they are any better than anyone else's out there as I have nothing to compare them to. I only know from what the troopers who have purchased one have to say, and so far, it seems I have some very happy customers.

This will be an ongoing thread that I will post to and update as time permits. I hope that some of you will find it helpful for your own pack builds. I am always available for questions as well so feel free to drop me a PM if you would like.

So here goes...

First of all, let me say that with the availablity of so many high quality and screen accurate parts made available by some extremely talented people here at the MEPD, it has made my job of building a high quality pack that much easier. Most of the parts I use in my builds I order from other vendors right here. I will withhold there names for now until I get their permission to post them.

Even with the addition of some great and readily available parts, I always look to make them the best they can be before final installation. By that I mean taking the time to check them for any cracks or defects, trim them, sand them and basically prep them properly. The preparation of each piece is key to a great and long lasting prop.

Second, I always use quality paints. I'm sure some of you out there may say that it makes little or no difference. I feel it does. Most of the parts that are used are made out of some sort of plastic material. The last thing I want is to have someone have a problem with paint peeling or flaking off their pack. I have had very good experiences with the Kryon Fusion paints for plastic so that is what I use.

Third, assembly. Nothing is tie wrapped or hot glued on one of my packs. I want my packs to be assembled as if they will be really used in the field. Lord knows that on some of your troops, it will be like you are going into battle. Kids pulling of you. Pushing and pulling of knobs and switches. Adults banging into you. Close quarters with walls, doors, other costumers, not to mention the transport of your pack to and from events. This thing has to hold up.

Every piece is assembled using a variety of nuts, bolts, washers, rivets and screws. All the while, keeping in mind that it still has to be lightweight.

The pack build posted here will be a "Captains Pack". It is also a pack that was built using my "Modular" assembly for my overseas Troopers. Modular meaning it will break down into 2 sections for easier and MUCH less expensive shipping.

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The Frame

The frame on all my packs is built using a combination of 1/2" PVC pipe and 1/2" CPVC pipe and elbows. This combination allows me to build a near seemless frame.

The 1/2" PVC pipe comes in 24" lengths. The first thing I do is tape 2 sections together near the ends and mark the center (12") on both. Taping them will keep them uniform while heating and bending them so they will both have the same angle.

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Next, using a heat gun, I evenly heat the center of both pipes, rotating both slowly until the pipes become almost rubbery. Both pipes are bent at the center line while slightly pulling the pipes from the ends. Pulling them while bending keeps them from "kinking".

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Using a Poly Square to check the correct bend angle, I cool the pipes with water to get them to set back up.

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After the pipes have cooled, I then measure 8" from the center bend line in both directions and mark it.

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I then use a PVC pipe cutter to cut the excess pipe off the ends. DO NOT DISCARD these pieces. They will be used later for the short arms on the frame as well as the shot gun shell strip.

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A third 24" section of pipe is marked into two 10" lengths and cut. These two sections are the top and bottom cross bars.

Using two of the left over pieces, mark them 3 3/4" and cut accordingly. These will be used for the two short bars.

More to follow.....

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Awesome thanks for the tutorial and real looking forward to seeing the whole thing. I'll stick this thread up once everything is completed. B)

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Ooh cool...a tutorial. I love tutorials...i'm looking forward for the next steps mate.. :duim:

Cheers...

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Continuing on the frame.

I use 1/2" CPVC tubing for the inserts inside the 1/2" PVC pipe. The CPVC pipe diameter is the same size as the inside diameter of the 1/2" PVC.

The CPVC is yellowish in color as opposed to the white PVC.

The CPVC pipe is cut into 1 1/4" pieces. You will need 12 of them.

The elbows are also the yellowish colored CPVC.

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To make sure I get a good fit and the ABS/PVC/CPVC glue sets up well, the CPVC pipe is lightly sanded before I cut it into pieces. I also open up the last 1/8" of the ends of the PVC pipe using a stepped drill bit. This will make hammering the insert into the pipe easier. I also score up the inside of the PVC pipe and the inside of the elbows with a pipe prep tool.

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Once this is done, the PVC cement is applied to the inside of the tube end and using a small hammer, a CPVC insert is installed into the pipe leaving about 1/2" sticking out for the elbow to go on later.

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Repeat these steps until all tube ends have the inserts.

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Using a flat level surface, install the elbows on both ends of the 10" cross bars. Slide the flat sides of the elbows on the flat surface to make sure they are even and the bar doesn't "rock" back and forth. This will ensure they are even and the down pipes will go on straight.

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Next, cement 1 elbow on the end of the short bars. Once that has set up, cement the short bar onto one end of the down pipe making sure the short bar is pointed up in the direction of the bend. Again using a flat surface, adjust both pieces so that they lay flat and even. Compare both sets to make sure they are the same.

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Finally, cement the top and bottom cross bars to the down tubes. Some "eyeballing" on this step is required to get the down tubes straight and even. Lay the entire frame on a flat surface again to make sure all 4 corners touch and everything is straight.

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The next step will be cutting and installing some 1" black .125 thickness ABS strips for the cross braces. The trays will attach to these.

More to follow.....

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Hi John! Nice to meet you!!!!!!Thanks for the tutorial ;)

Leo

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Hi John! Nice to meet you!!!!!!Thanks for the tutorial ;)

Leo

My pleasure Leo!

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OK, now for the cross braces.

For these I use .125 Black ABS. I cut the strips in 1" wide x 12 1/4" long.

Four will be used, two for the top tray and two for the bottom.

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I always sand everything to prep for painting, and these are no exception. I also round the corners so that there are no sharp corners. I like the way it gives the pack a more "finished" look. I will do this on most pieces of the pack as you will see in future posts.

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Now that these are done, put these aside for later installation.

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Since this pack frame will be used as a "Modular" pack build for overseas shipping, I must cut the frame.

First I measure 6 1/4" down from the top seam on each side and mark it.

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Then using my pipe cutter, both sides are cut to length.

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After cutting and re-checking the measurement to make sure they are both even, I cement two 1/2" PVC couplings onto the top section of the frame.

Once they have set up, I slide the bottom section of the frame into the couplings and drill a hole through the assembly.

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Finally, a 1 1/4" number 8 threaded pan head screw is installed with a wing nut on the back side of the tube. These will hold the frame together and allow it to be disassembled for shipping later.

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The entire frame is then sanded and washed in a mild detergent and is ready for paint.

The cross braces will be installed after the 1st coat of paint dries and then the entire assembly will be painted with 2 more coats of Krylon Fusion Flat Black.

More to come....

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Well, as most of you know (and some of you may not) I have been building TD packs for awhile now. I really enjoy it and it has been my pleasure to be able to build quite a few for some fantastic Sandies out there. I really take alot of pride in every order, knowing that you guys (and gals) have put your trust in me to deliver a high quality and screen accurate field pack.

With that said, I have been meaning to post a beginning to end build thread for quite some time. I get asked alot what goes into my packs. What makes them any better than the next.

Well, I don't know if they are any better than anyone else's out there as I have nothing to compare them to. I only know from what the troopers who have purchased one have to say, and so far, it seems I have some very happy customers.

This will be an ongoing thread that I will post to and update as time permits. I hope that some of you will find it helpful for your own pack builds. I am always available for questions as well so feel free to drop me a PM if you would like.

So here goes...

First of all, let me say that with the availablity of so many high quality and screen accurate parts made available by some extremely talented people here at the MEPD, it has made my job of building a high quality pack that much easier. Most of the parts I use in my builds I order from other vendors right here. I will withhold there names for now until I get their permission to post them.

Even with the addition of some great and readily available parts, I always look to make them the best they can be before final installation. By that I mean taking the time to check them for any cracks or defects, trim them, sand them and basically prep them properly. The preparation of each piece is key to a great and long lasting prop.

Second, I always use quality paints. I'm sure some of you out there may say that it makes little or no difference. I feel it does. Most of the parts that are used are made out of some sort of plastic material. The last thing I want is to have someone have a problem with paint peeling or flaking off their pack. I have had very good experiences with the Kryon Fusion paints for plastic so that is what I use.

Third, assembly. Nothing is tie wrapped or hot glued on one of my packs. I want my packs to be assembled as if they will be really used in the field. Lord knows that on some of your troops, it will be like you are going into battle. Kids pulling of you. Pushing and pulling of knobs and switches. Adults banging into you. Close quarters with walls, doors, other costumers, not to mention the transport of your pack to and from events. This thing has to hold up.

Every piece is assembled using a variety of nuts, bolts, washers, rivets and screws. All the while, keeping in mind that it still has to be lightweight.

The pack build posted here will be a "Captains Pack". It is also a pack that was built using my "Modular" assembly for my overseas Troopers. Modular meaning it will break down into 2 sections for easier and MUCH less expensive shipping.

WOW, You are amazing! I want onefor Italian Sandtrooper!

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I have one of johns packs and its just amazing. The quality and workmanship is superb.

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I have one of johns packs and its just amazing. The quality and workmanship is superb.

Thank you Joey! Now on with more build...

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Lets finish out the frame. After it has been sanded and washed, it will get it's first coat of paint. Because I am using Krylon Fusion paint for plastics, no primer is needed.

I have not found any benefit to using a plastic primer under the Fusion paint.

After the 1st coat is done, I will make my measurements for my ABS cross braces. I like to label them 1-4 with some paper tape from top to bottom so that after all the holes are marked and drilled, everything lines up perfectly.

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I like to use a small 1/4 inch #8 panhead screw to attach the braces. You could also attach them using rivets, but I prefer the option of easy removal in the event future repairs are needed to the pack.

I will also drill all necessary holes in the frame for the mounting of the Mortar Tube and the two lower shoulder strap anchoring points.

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Then it's off for 2 more coats of flat black paint. And here you have your finished TD pack frame....

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Seed Trays

Next up we have our main trays that make up the pack. There are lots of choices out there for this, some more accurate than others.

For this pack and for the mojority of my builds, I will be using the Park Seed Trays. They measure 8" x 12" x 2 1/2", are readily available at a very good price and are durable. They also can be easily modded and take paint very well.

First, I will carefully remove the raised company logo stenciled on the trays using a razor. (No Sandtrooper should have any visible logos on his pack as far as I am concerned....ie Park Seed, Tupperware, Made in USA, etc...) I always carefully remove these as part of the parts prep.

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Then, all trays will be sanded using a medium grit sanding block. Then I will go over it once more with a fine grit block. I have also cut 2 ABS strips to add to the bottom tray. These are also sanded and shaped on the ends to closely match the factory ribs on the tray.

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After sanding, the trays get a bath in a mild detergent.

The ABS strips are then added to the bottom tray using Gorilla Glue Super glue. I love this stuff. It will glue your hands together if your not careful! LOL

The strips are only added to the outside bottom tray and not the back side tray. The back tray is really not visible, so only the outside tray gets them.

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Once these have set up, its off for the first coats of black fusion paint.

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The top 2 trays for this pack get 3 coats of Fusion Flat Black.

The bottom 2 trays get 1 coat of Fusion Flat Black and 2 coats of Rustoleum Satin Slate Blue.

The electrical tape is then applied to the bottom 2 trays. I use a 3" wide tape for the top of the tray and a standard 1 inch tape for the bottom.

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Now it's time to attach the back trays to the frame cross braces. I will use 6 aluminum pop rivets and washers for this. The rivets used are 5/32" (4mm) with a 1/4" (6mm) grip and a #6 washer. I will also reinforce the rivet on the inside of the tray with scrap ABS that I cut into squares.

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First, I take the bottom section of the frame and mark the center of the cross braces. Holes are drilled at these locations. Then the tray is centered properly and corresponding holes are drilled in the tray. Rivets are placed in each hole with an ABS square and #6 washer on the back side.

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Once these 2 mounting locations are anchored, 4 more holes are drilled about 1/2 to 3/4" of an inch from the ends of the bracket and tray. I like to anchor the trays almost at the ends of the cross braces as this will eliminate most flexing in the brace.

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These steps are repeated for the top section of the tray and the top backside tray.

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Stay tuned for more....

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Mortar Tube

OK, lets move on to the Mortar Tube assembly. I will be using 2" Black ABS pipe for this. It is much lighter than PVC and the white ABS pipe.

Because this is a modular pack build, I will be making the mortar tube so that it can break down into 2 sections. The easiest way to do this is to use a 2" coupling, and I have done this on other modular builds in the past. Due to the new SWAT program and the stricter standards, I had to come up with a new way to do this. A raised coupling could pose a problem for anyone applying for SWAT status as it is not screen accurate. I will be custom making an ABS sleave that will joint the 2 sections.

First, I measure the pipe and cut it to the proper 29" length.

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Next, I sand the entire tube down using a medium sanding block. I make sure the edges of the tube ends are rounded off a bit. This will make it easier to slide the end caps on later.

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Laying the pack frame on it's left side, I lay the pipe on the frame and measure about 2 1/2" down from the top of the tube to the top of the frame.

Using the pre-drilled holes in the frame from earlier, I mark the tube with a small drill bit.

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Holes are then drilled into the tube at these marks.

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Two 1 1/2" long #8 panhead screws are inserted from the inside of the tube out and epoxyed into place. A small #8 nut is installed onto the screw outside the tube and tightened into place. This will hold the screw securely until the epoxy sets up and will also act as a spacer for later when attaching the tube to the frame.

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While I have the the epoxy out, I drill the hole for the Radar Dish mounting bolt about 4" up from the bottom of the tube and so that the dish will be facing out.

I will be using a special bolt with a flat rectangular piece on one end and a black plastic knob that threads down onto it.

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Now it is time to cut the tube. The mounting bolts are inserted into the pre-drilled holes on the frame and I measure 12" down from the top, just about at the center frame bend and mark it. This is where it will be cut. I use a miter box and saw to make sure I get a perfecctly straight cut. this is important so the two sides match up perfectly and almost no seam is visible.

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Now it is time to make the ABS sleave that will join the 2 sections.

I take a 6" piece of 2" ABS pipe and lay it into a vise. Using a pipe cutting saw, I remove about a 1" section of the tube along it's length.

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After sanding the edges a bit and making sure they are straight and even, I place it back into the vise and heat it up using a heat gun. While I heat it, I slowly close the vise until the ends almost touch. Then apply some ABS cement to both edges and continue closing the piece in the vise until they meet. The vise will hold the assembly until it sets up. (I let it set for 24hrs.)

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Once it is set, the entire sleave gets a good sanding with rounding off of the edges on the ends. One end is then ABS cemented into the top section of the Mortar tube and alowed to set up overnight again.

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Next I will work on the Radar Dish, Thermal Det pad and end caps.

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Outstanding work John! As one who is a proud owner of a caps pack I congratulate you in such passionate and dedicated work!

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Outstanding work John! As one who is a proud owner of a caps pack I congratulate you in such passionate and dedicated work!

Thanks Luis! I believe you have one of my older modular packs with the Mortar Tube that has the raised coupling.

If you ever decide to apply for SWAT and it presents a problem, just let me know and I will swap out the tube for the newer style.

That goes for any other overseas troopers who have this version as well. :)

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On to the Radar Dish.

There are a few sources for these. The ones I usually use are made by Crashmann or I use an actual 2 qt. tupperware lid when I can get them. Ebay is usually your best bet for the real thing.

The one I will be using for this build is a new dish that I got from TK4510 (Mike). I had sent him an actual Tupperware lid a while back and he made a mold of it for vac forming. It is spot on accurate and comes with a backplate as well.

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After some minor trimming and sanding, I make sure the 2 pieces fit together well. Then I drill a hole in the backplate big enough for the mounting screw to fit through and a corresponding hole in the front of the dish for the plastic knob.

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Once that is done, I apply a thin bead of ABS cement to the outer edge of the backplate. Then insert the backplate into the front dish, slide the mounting nut through the back and tighten the plastic knob down on the front. This will hold the assembly together until it sets up.

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Here is a picture of a Mortar Tube from my last build with a real tupperware radar dish installed...

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Next I will trim the end caps. I will be using caps from TK4510 for this as well.

Minor trimming and sanding and they will be ready for paint. Even though these parts are already white, I like to paint them anyway so everything matches.

These pieces and the Radar Dish will also get washed with a mild detergent before painting.

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If you don't have access to end caps from TK4510 or Crashmann, you can make a set fairly easy from a set of Black ABS 2" couplings.

The 2" coupling has a small ridge in the center interior. Make a cut about a 1/4" above the ridge. Sand the rim smooth rounding off the edges just above the inner ridge.

I use some .060 Black ABS to make a center cap. You can also use a for sale sign to trace them from in a pinch.

Place the coupling on the ABS sheet and trace the inside circle. Cut it out, sand smooth and cement in against the inside ridge.

Once dry, sand the whole thing again, wash and paint.

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For the Thermal Detonator Pad, I will be using a Crashmann Det Pad.

This is pulled in a high gloss ABS, so I will not be painting this.

I trim the sides using a straight edge and razor. The ends are trimmed with tabbing shears. Al, the edges are sanded smooth and I round off the corners for a nice finished look.

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Hey thanks John! Nice of you! Planning to do SWAT in a future. As for now I love my TD as an unknown dirty trooper never seen on screen until now. Jajajajaja!

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Awesome build!! I am watching with great anticipation!

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I have a Quartermaster Captain's Pack and it is top notch!!

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The pack looks great so far! I do have a question about the mortar tube, the 2" dia. Is it I.D or O.D.??? Drain pipe? Also, What is the I.D. of the piece that goes on the mortar tube. (the control panel?) Thanks!!!

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